Down of the Dead

Dear Mr. Johnston,

As a motion picture producer, I think I’ve seen, or been told about, everything you can do in a movie. Which is why I started screaming obscenities in my backyard when I read the opening scene of your script Undeath from Above. I didn’t care about the dirty looks I was getting from my neighbors or the parents in my three-year old’s playgroup, because finally someone (you) had shown me something different, something new. Let me tell you, there are few things that I consider true genius. Velamints. Big Country’s hit single "In a Big Country". Leonardo Da Vinci’s Da Vinci Code. And now I’m adding you to this list. I mean you have this poor guy jumping out of an airplane. All he’s worrying about is if his parachute opens. What’s the absolute last thing in the world he is expecting? To be attacked by a zombie in mid-air. Nobody has ever done that. I mean when George Romero sees this movie he’s going to punch himself in the head. Rest assured that this concept is better than Jimmy Stewart finding rose petals in his pocket or Rocky Balboa killing that bionic Russian. I told my assistant that this first scene is like a perfect cheesecake. It’s the lightest thing I’ve ever tasted, like taking a bite out of an edible angel. Plus it’s got a graham cracker crust, none of that gingersnap crap. Which is too bad, because as good as the beginning of Undeath from Above is, the rest of it is like being hit in the crotch by a runaway moped.

Zombies falling from the sky? Fantastic. Their bodies hitting the ground and exploding like watermelons? Not so great. Really, the only people these zombies threaten are skydivers and anybody who isn’t looking up. Why the heck can’t you have one of these zombies hit a pillow factory or a trampoline? A bale of freaking hay or a soft tree might even work. What you need to remember is that once you have an intact zombie, the fun begins.

Besides the low zombie survival rate, I also have some other concerns. You know that scene where that little blond kid, the one eating the drippy popsicle, is watching as a tiny dot in the sky becomes a flailing zombie plunging through the clouds, and that groaning gets louder and louder until the zombie is impaled on a flagpole? Then the camera pans up and there is the American flag covered in goopy zombie guts? Here’s my question about that, what the hell? Are you making a political statement? Because if you are, don’t, I’ve already optioned a script called An American Zombie in Baghdad. Here's how we can fix that: what if the camera panned up and there’s no flag? Instead, flapping in the wind, is the zombie’s pants. Then you can have this impaled zombie moaning "paaaants". That way when you have the big zombie fight finale at the end (you’re going to have to add a zombie fight finale, by the way), you’ve got this pantless zombie still going "paaaaaaants". It brings the joke full circle. Kids are laughing their butts off in the movie theater, elbowing their friends, saying stuff like, "Remember that zombie from before? His pants were on the flagpole." Anyone can tell you, if there’s one thing that kids love it’s cyclical humor. You know what else the kids would like? If you had the heroine (who you’ll have to create, too) knock the zombie’s dick off with a broomstick. Just a suggestion.

By the way, I’ve explained that you’re writing this for the kids, right? I mean they are a zombie movie’s target audience. Reading your script gives me the feeling you’re writing for Scandinavians with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Which might account for why your characters are so unresponsive to the whole zombie crisis thing. I mean you have a guy hosing zombie guts out of his driveway and then he washes his car. Does he get crushed? No. Does he get attacked? Nope. Does he spend five minutes waxing his car? Yes. Do you know what the audience is doing at that point? They're getting a refund or sneaking off to another part of the multiplex. Why? Because zombie movies are not supposed to have ennui. You know what they should have? Eviscerations, disembowelments, random gouging, and comic decapitations. So get to work on that.

Oh, and another thing, at no point during a zombie film should a hero ever utter the lines, "I’m so tired," or "My calves are sore and tender." Remember, a "hero" is not just the guy we see the most, a hero needs to be doing things that involves a wildly swung shovel and a zombie face.

While you’re fixing up Undeath from Above, you might as well add some sexy zombies, or as I like to call them, ZILFs. What you’ve got to remember is that the kids of today are sick. They'd do it with a zombie, if they got half a chance and zombies existed. Really, if there were any justice, kids would all be declared mentally incompetent and institutionalized. As the father of two, I’m allowed to say stuff like that. Anyway, just remember that kids are tiny, crazy people with disposable income who like awesome movies about the undead, so let's make one.

Ken Trott, motion picture producer
LazerEyze Studios (Not affiliated with LazyEyes Pictures LLC)

P.S. How come nobody questions why the zombies are falling from the sky? I mean, sure, you have that priest who says, "I guess heaven is overflowing." What the frick? Heaven is full of zombies? If so, terrific, expand on that. Also, FYI, I'm changing the name of the film to Sky Zombies. It works better for Marketing.


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